US govt to examine CNOOC bid for Unocal

CHINA National Offshore Oil Corporation faces an uphill battle for Unocal now that the United House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly for President George W Bush to examine CNOOC's US$18.5 billion bid.

Last Friday (US time) the House of Representatives voted 398-15 to press for a government review of CNOOC’s proposed takeover, citing concerns that the Asian giant could gain access to strategic energy reserves.

The House resolution said the CNOOC takeover bid, which topped Chevron’s US$16.6 billion offer, would be "heavily subsidised" by China's government-owned banks and would pose a national security threat at a time of record oil prices.

Meanwhile, CNOOC has filed a notice with the US Committee on Foreign Investment so that committee can begin reviewing CNOOC's proposal to merge with Unocal.

“This filing gives CNOOC the opportunity to comply with all US rules and regulations in an open and transparent manner, and to fully discuss our proposal," said CNOOC chief financial officer Yang Hua.

“We believe that once all the facts are known and the commercial purpose and terms of the transaction are fully understood, many initial misimpressions will be corrected, and many doubts and questions will be favorably resolved.”

Eighty per cent of Unocal’s oil and gas assets are located in Asia and the Caspian region.


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